Saturday, April 7, 2012

G is for Gargantuan

Gargantuan -- don't your just love the way that word tumbles around your mouth and mind? The word contains so much more than big, or even giant. When I was a kid, much of life was “gargantuan” and beyond comprehension, but I tried to investigate all of it anyway

According to Merriam-Webster, Gargantuan is an adjective frequently capitalized. Now that’s power. And just take a gander at the definition: colossal, gigantic – more single words. The power is compacted, like a seed within an acorn; restrained power held in a small space, ready to birth one humongous, flowing, space-filling, towering oak tree.

As a kid, the world begged interaction. Like the oak tree, I started small, in my mother’s womb, progressed to larger, but still confining, containers called strollers, buggies, high chairs. After that, once those legs and feet found the power of ground contact, there was little stopping my curious mind. Most enticing, of course, was everything “off-limits.” That meant I loved the alleys behind our apartment in Chicago, the fields, creeks and developments far beyond my home street once my family moved to the suburbs.

And what did I encounter? Were there any greasy, grimy, gopher guts? Perhaps - like the day when two cars crashed on the corner near that Chicago apartment. I was maybe three at the time. My cousins, brother, neighbor kids and I swarmed the corner, peeked into the car and there, splayed like so many internal organs, the contents of a Chinese dinner nobody but the worms would be eating that night.

Later, I did meet a few gophers, but the garden snakes were more fun. They were numerous and I had no fear picking them up. I was bitten a few times, but soon learned how to catch and hold them in order to tease the squeamish without harm to either snake or me.

The story doesn’t end here, of course, and continues on even as I type. Gas-powered vehicles took me to foreign lands and on journeys around my home country. I met guarding gargoyles, ate honest-to-goodness Greek food, danced with geckos in Hawaii and hid from grizzlies in Canada. The oak tree of my life continues growing skyward, a gargantuan expanse of existence still waiting to be explored.


Both are cinquain poems (More info can be found at  )


begin as seeds
planted beneath treasures
found in mythic gardens, spring brings

**** **** ****

just dance

figgle, piggle
dance to life's sweet silver
arrows of sun, rain, dew gathered
for you


  1. I love that word!

    And your poems are great. I always love teaching cinquains to my students. They're so fun!

  2. Thanks - I have grown quite fond of cinquains this past year, have a thick and growing file of them. Perhaps they'll find their way into a chapbook soon...

  3. nice writing and I adore cinquains!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, appreciate the comment

  4. It's a great word and not one I hear often in day to day sentences.